Guided Imagery techniques allow individuals to journey in an altered state of consciousness and explore core issues to their problem, learning what needs healing within them.
Guided imagery is an ancient system used to treat and heal core problems of mind, body and soul, by assisting the individual to realize their own ability to use their right-brain functions, open their intuition and use their senses to perceive reality in a different way. The individual will see, hear, feel and smell from a different place inside the subconscious self and expand the senses and imagination into the conscious. In guided imagery, a mental image can be defined as “a thought with sensory qualities.” It is something we mentally see, hear, taste, smell, touch, or feel.
The term “guided imagery” refers to a wide variety of techniques, including simple visualization and direct suggestion using imagery, metaphor and story-telling, fantasy exploration, game playing, dream interpretation, drawing, and activating the imagination where elements of the subconscious are invited to appear as images that can communicate with the conscious mind.
Once considered an “alternative” or “complementary” approach, guided imagery is now finding widespread scientific and public acceptance, and it is being used to teach psycho-physiological relaxation, alleviate anxiety and depression, relieve physical and psychological symptoms, overcome health-endangering habits, resolve conflicts, and help patients prepare for surgery and tolerate procedures more comfortably.
Early mental images are formed long before we learn to understand and use words that are at the core of who we think we are, what we believe the world is like, what we feel we deserve, what we think will happen to us, and how motivated we are to take care of ourselves. In guided imagery we can bring to the surface the images that strongly influence our beliefs and attitudes about how we fall ill, and what will help us to get better.
Guided imagery works directly with the images that arise from the individual’s own imagination and inner wisdom. These images reflect the inner workings of one’s own healing processes, and often permit access to critical information about the issue at hand, whether it be physical pain, disease, addiction, emotional issues, or spiritual problems. With guided imagery, the client is learning to access and utilize the insights, resources, and solutions that arise from their own subconscious.
The guide’s role is not to change or provide “better” images for the client, but to facilitate an enhanced awareness of the subconscious imagery the client already has, and help clients learn to effectively work with this guided imagery on their own behalf. This process is capable of bringing about profound psychological and physiological change, as it simultaneously empowers and educates the client into healing and overcoming their emotional, physical, mental and spiritual afflictions.
For example, a client can be asked to close her eyes and allow her mind to prompt a picture that symbolizes her problem. Using guided imagery techniques, the client may then be guided in an imaginary dialogue with this image to explore and reveal its meaning and relevance to her problem or issue.
These images can provide important information about the problem, as well as the client’s beliefs, expectations, fears, resources and solutions. Since many clients have uncannily accurate intuitions about their problems and solutions, the imagery process makes these insights more easily available to them and their practitioner, allowing healing to take place.
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